UK

Ayia Napa false rape claim trial: Briton files appeal against conviction

The woman covered her face as she arrived at court Image copyright AFP

A British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has launched an appeal against her conviction.

The 19-year-old had denied causing public mischief and on Thursday lawyers filed the grounds for her appeal at the supreme court of Cyprus.

She is now back in the UK after receiving a suspended jail term.

Justice Abroad said she did not get a fair trial and the conviction "breaches" her rights.

Michael Polak, director of the legal support group, criticised her treatment and that of her representatives and witness as being in "clear contrast" to the prosecution and its witnesses.

He said the conviction breached Cypriot law and flouted the country's international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and as a member of the European Union.

The teenager said she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the resort town of Ayia Napa on July 17, before being charged herself after signing a retraction statement 10 days later.

She maintains she was raped, but was forced to change her account under pressure from Cypriot police following hours of questioning alone and without legal representation.

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Media caption"We're pleased she's going home," lawyer Lewis Power QC says

She was convicted in December but had vowed to appeal, with her lawyer, Lewis Power QC previously saying the case was "not finished by any means".

She returned to the UK on 8 January after receiving a four-month jail sentence, suspended for three years.

Famagusta District Court also ordered her to pay £125 in legal fees.

The dozen young men and boys, aged between 15 and 20, were freed after their initial arrests and later returned home.

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